During a hypnosis session, my subconscious showed me all sorts of interesting visualizations. In one of them, I was once walking through a big city.
There was something strange about the scenery. Every person on the street was dressed in the same boring fashion. And they were all reading books while walking. In fact, they were holding their open books so close to themselves that I couldn’t see anyone’s face.
It surprised me that these people were still able to navigate in the traffic of a busy city like that. And could they not see all the wonderful people around them to talk to and connect with??
They clearly had no eyes for anything besides the book they were reading.
I was happy that there was at least one person on the street –me- who realized what was going on.
Or was I? When I looked at my hands, I was shocked to find out that just like all the other people, I was holding a book in front of my face as well. Frantically reading it as if it was the most important book in the world.
I tried to focus my eyes to find out what the heck was in that book that made it so popular.
Much to my surprise, it was my own biography.
This wasn’t me being so famous that everyone read about me. Looking around, I realized that what those other people were reading, was their own biographies.
Then it occurred to me what that meant. Why so many people are lonely. Why we have no empathy for opposing points of view. Why people get mad in traffic or in the lines of grocery stores.
So I got sick of it, set my book on fire and started to see all the beautiful colors of the world that I had never seen before.
The people no longer looked like a gray monotonous bunch of robots. I could now walk up to them, ask them to lower their books and see their true colors. I noticed the dream city had a beauty that used to be hidden for me. I was finally free to connect with the world and the people around me.
I believe if more people were willing to stop reading their own biographies every single hour of the day, the world would become a better place in many different ways.
Because in that book are our own fictional stories based on a limited perspective, in which we are the only righteous hero. Challenging things happen to us. We forge alliances. We wreak vengeance on our enemies. We save damsels (or knights) in distress.
But we forget that the characters have nothing to do with the actual people they are based upon, and everything to do with the writer (yourself).
• Every time you repeat a thought in our head that explains why you are mad at someone, why they are wrong and you are right, you have your nose stuck in that book.
• Every time you innocently visit your own Facebook profile (you know you do it) you have your nose stuck in that book.
• Every time you read or hear something about someone you haven’t met in person and you judge them, your nose is stuck in that book.
And I’m no better myself. I may have burned the book in my dreams. But I still manage to recite some of the passages I know by heart from time to time. I often bless myself for having people in my life who dare to call me out on that.
If everyone would be willing to stop re-reading that one book they love the most, we’d all live happier lives. Because when you do that. When you stop living your life as the main character, you can finally start to have a look in other people’s books. See what their stories are like and how their characters feel. That’s when real connections are finally made.
• That’s when you finally have love, not just a relationship.
• That’s when people stop hurting each other for egoic reasons.
• That’s when parents might stop pressuring children to turn out a certain way.
• That’s when useless political debates turn into cooperative problem solving.